It's not only the people riding the trains, those who work on the railroads are also fed up with the privatisation. Nobody likes the results except the people profiting from it and politicians whose religion dictate that it should be like that.

Train worker union members (who work with it every day and have seen the results) are doing a campaign.


@owl quite interestingly, in the finnish discourse about if trains should be privatized the spirit was often that british privatization was a failure but swedish one a success.

anyway, britain has now reintroduced a lot of public control over trains, and it's clear that sweden should do the same.

and finland should not even think about privatizing any more.

> swedish one a success.

I need one of those mad-laugh-cry emoji.

@owl i find it interesting that not even in japan, possibly the most railroadest of all countries, are private train operations profitable outside the main metropolitan areas.

that should be taken as a clear hint to not privatize trains.

Stockholm politician voice: So what's the problem

@antonia @owl yeah, i guess they don't gain so much profit from running trains than from renting property from stations :D

@Stoori don't you think that trains tend to be more efficient then cars when considering all costs.

japan may be comparably train-friendly, but i think they still have tax-funded motorways and stuff…?

i would think that, without distortion of prices and externalization of costs, going by train would generally be cheaper than by car, so it would be cars that would usually be unprofitable except in special cases. no?

(in some areas train may also be outperformed by bikes, of course)


@sofia @owl well, yeah, probably if all transport infrastructure was unsubsidized private property, trains would be cheaper.

but there's the point that unsubsidized private transport infrastructure is always suboptimal in comparison to public transport infrastructure.

but you're right, subsidies should be included in comparisons.

@Stoori "but there's the point that unsubsidized private transport infrastructure is always suboptimal in comparison to public transport infrastructure."

you mean "public" here as in state-owned, right? but what in what way are there more optimal? is it because you think they'll be cheaper? if so, what determines the optimal price?


@Stoori personally i like the idea of free (as in no price for access) public (as in publicly accessible) transport, for the convenience if not the nice egalitarianism. but that's really a call for the local communities to make, and it might make more sense in some places than others.

i also don't think they need to be state-owned in order to be free to access. i prefer coops, of course, but even joint-stock companies could probably offer it 🤷.


@sofia @owl well we could also say commons instead of public, the legal form is not the point but that if the maintenance should be covered only by usage-based fees, most transport infrastructure wouldn't exist

@Stoori i don't think state-owned infrastructure is a commons. the rail infrastructure itself perhaps could be, but the trains itself? best luck to the anarcho-communists who might attempt it, i think they have to try it on their own before i move in to them 😅.

anyway, i think cooperatizing would also be a good move towards communistic models. but that might not be what you mean by commons anyway 😅.


@owl @Stoori the only successful "privatization" I can think of is Japan. And it's super important to realize that Japan choose to "kill it with fire" and has a double digit number of companies operating rail networks of various kinds.

It's a huge mess even if they run on time.

@rune @owl meanwhile in china: centrally governed railroad services are expanded exponentially and operate reliably

@Stoori @owl well, yes and no. They've over done it a bit and we should expect to see their rail network deteriorate a lot in the longer run since it's a big loss leader in many regions where the demand isn't really there.

But it is an example that you can get lots of reliable train service if the state just decides to fund it. And if they're a bit cautious with expansion it won't be that expensive.

@Stoori @owl

before privatisation (when I lived in Reading, SE England) I could easily afford travelling to London, or even Essex or Suffolk as a teenager/young adult who earned way less than I do today.

I still have relatives who live in Reading - with current "free market" approach it works out cheaper to drive there solo (despite high petrol costs, depreciation, maintenance, insurance etc) than to get the train (which isn't any more reliable than in BR/Network South East days)

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